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home : outdoors : features May 24, 2016

7/20/2012 5:08:00 AM
Mother and son land muskie despite equipment difficulty
This one was for dad
Erik Allen and his mother Orva Mommsen pose with Mommsen’s 47-inch muskie. It is the biggest she’s ever caught.Contributed photograph 

Erik Allen and his mother Orva Mommsen pose with Mommsen’s 47-inch muskie. It is the biggest she’s ever caught.

Contributed photograph 


Craig Turk
Outdoors Writer/Photographer


Orva Mommsen, 75, of Dallas, Texas, recently experienced a wild Northwoods adventure on an area lake. 

A great fish, and an even better story, would be the end result.

Fishing with her son, Erik Allen, Mommsen suddenly had quite a fight on her hands. She hooked into the biggest muskie of her life while fishing an area lake July 6.

“Very strong,” Mommsen said. “A really hard fight.” A bit into the fight, things got really interesting. 

Mommsen’s reel fell off.

“I’ve been fishing for many years and this has never happened,” she said.

Mommsen’s son held the tip of the rod, securing the line while she frantically re-attached the reel. The fish stayed on.

Mommsen said the fight was a long and difficult one, and that her son shouted encouragement as she battled the mighty fish. “He told me ‘don’t be worried if you lose it,’” she said.

The muskie fought valiantly when it got near the boat, and proved quite difficult to haul aboard. There were several attempts to net the fish.

“Finally, it swam head-first into the net,” Mommsen said.

The muskie measured 47 inches. Mommsen said the fish was released alive, “back into her watery home.”

The muskie was caught about mid-day. “We had just had lunch on the boat,” Mommsen said.

Asked what it was caught on, Mommsen replied, “Let’s say bucktail.” 

Mommsen said she loves fishing, and said if she goes out with someone, “We’re going to stay on the water.”

Mommsen and her son (also from Dallas) represent two of three generations of their family that have been coming the Minocqua/Woodruff area since the 1920s. Mommsen has been staying at Brandy Lake Resort in Woodruff, a place she said she has been visiting for more than 30 years.

Mommsen described catching the fish as a team effort with “the best guide in the world” – her son.

“My father fished muskies for years, and never caught one,” Mommsen said. “So I said, ‘This is for you dad.’”

Craig Turk may be reached at cturk@lakelandtimes.com







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